The future of monetary policy

The following is the press release of a new initiative to examine the future of monetary policy, based on the core sentiment that growth is not enough. “Dynamic, stable and sustainable” is the goal, for the economy… and monetary policy. Full employment is featured as a key – and largely ignored – objective of central banks. Joseph Stiglitz Leads Progressive […]

Read more

Is Oil Driving Our Economy?

It is, according to a major story by Barrie McKenna in today’s ROB. The story is full of telling anecdotes which ring more or less true. But I doubt that higher oil prices are, on net, a plus for the total Canadian economy in terms of either GDP or employment. True, high and rising oil prices will (often with a […]

Read more

Economic Models and Tax Policy

Over at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative (WCI), Stephen Gordon reasonably argues that economic models can be useful for policy analysis even if they lack the predictive power needed for forecasting. He writes: A well-designed model will be able to reproduce the main features of interest of the real world. More importantly, it will also be able to reproduce the main features […]

Read more

Do academic journals matter any more?

I do a lot of reading and writing as part of my job. But though I work for a research policy institute, I find I have little need for academic journals, and if anything, academic journals have made themselves less and less relevant over time. It used to be the case that academic journals represented essential sources of literature if […]

Read more

Corporate Taxes and Jobs: Myers Discovers the Business Cycle

I have reviewed Jayson Myers’ recent Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters report on corporate tax cuts, which I made public yesterday. Proponents of lower corporate taxes usually argue that these will help Canada compete with other countries in attracting internationally-mobile investment. However, as Myers admits, “over the past decade, reductions in Canada’s effective and average combined statutory corporate tax rates have […]

Read more

Drinking Your Own CGE Bath Water

Trade Minister Peter van Loan goes after Maude Barlow with a letter in yesterday’s Globe and Mail, responding to her fine recent op-ed on the Canada-EU free trade talks. Among other cheap shots, van Loan once again cited as “proof” the findings of a computable general equilibrium model that was commissioned by the EU and the Canadian government to support […]

Read more

Pervasive market failures

Most people reading this blog already get it that neoclassical economics is deeply flawed. But I’m still amazed at its persistence in the classroom and in the blogosphere. My blood boils when I see the standard neoclassical workhorse brought out of the stable when really it ought to be put to pasture. In a nutshell, neoclassical modeling ignores market failures, […]

Read more

Is Social Democracy Dying? – Part 1

Rob Ford, a belligerent right-wing serial liar with a proclivity for infantile temper tantrums and drunkenness, was elected mayor of Toronto this past week. Handily. This was after seven years of competent and scandal-free leadership by an NDP mayor, David Miller. The man Miller endorsed to replace him was a long-time NDP councilor renowned for his decency and sterling public […]

Read more

John Loxley’s JKG Prize Lecture

At the end of May in Quebec City at the annual Canadian Economics Association conference, the PEF awarded the second John Kenneth Galbraith Prize in Economics to John Loxley. Below is the full text of John’s Galbraith Lecture (pdf version with proper footnotes and formatting here). Congrats again to John for a lifetime of amazing work! Also, thanks to one […]

Read more

Jack Mintz Eats Up Ontario’s Budget

This past week, Jack Mintz issued a report (PDF) praising Ontario’s last provincial budget. I like East Side Mario’s because it features both all-you-can-eat bread and all-you-can-eat salad. So, it is not surprising that a corporate tax-fighter would love a budget featuring both corporate income tax cuts and the removal of sales tax from business inputs. Queen’s Park is giving […]

Read more

Who Called the Crisis?

An interesting piece in the FT yesterday re how those economists who followed the financial flow circuits called the crisis, as opposed to the general equilibrium types who did not.  Complementary to the analysis of Tom Palley on the macro roots of the crisis, who rightly insists that the “no one saw it coming” crowd are trying to implicate all […]

Read more

Davidson: Efficient Market Theory Vs. Keynes’s Liquidity Theory

Paul Davidson gave a great talk to the Progressive Economics Forum at the recent Canadian Economics Association meetings. Below is a teaser; the full talk is here. ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS OF THE OPERATION OF A CAPITALIST ECONOMY: EFFICIENT MARKET THEORY VS. KEYNES’S LIQUIDITY THEORY by Paul Davidson, Editor, Journal of Post Keynesian Economics Politicians and talking heads on television are continuously […]

Read more

Fresh water and salt water macroeconomics

Angry Bear has an excellent synopsis of the state of macroeconomics, and its relationship to the central monetary and fiscal policy debates of today. The post plays on a division of US economists into right-wing “fresh water” economists (epitomized by Chicago) and left-wing “salt water” (Princeton, MIT, Berkeley) that is perhaps a bit simplified (for example the Post-Keynesians at U […]

Read more

Time to Revisit the Mainstream Theoretical Framework

There’s a great article in today’s Vancouver Sun hammering on the fact that all major mainstream economists failed to anticipate the economic crisis. Provocatively titled Economics 101: Everything you know is wrong, the article quotes James Galbraith’s indictment on the mainstream of the profession that originally appeared in a New York Times Magazine article: “There are thousands of economists. Most […]

Read more

Are forecasters too bullish?

Here is the latest from the Conference Board: Its outlook projects Canada’s economy to grow 1.7 per cent this year – a far more bullish prediction than the Bank of Canada, which on Tuesday revised downward its growth forecast to one per cent this year. What is interesting is how the CP report calls them “bullish”. Back in February, I […]

Read more

Economics for Everyone

I’m surprised that Jim Stanford has not made a plug for his new book on this site. A modest one, our Jimbo. So let me say a few words about Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism. Jim has outdone himself on this one. So many times I have had people ask me for a straightforward […]

Read more

Modeling climate change reduction strategies

National Post Dinosaur-in-Chief Terence Corcoran has nothing but bile to spew at the David Suzuki Foundation and its recent report on carbon pricing. With characteristic bombast, he still seems to think that global warming is a vast left-wing conspiracy to overthrow capitalism. But Terry is right about one thing. All of the modeling for greenhouse gas reduction scenarios comes from […]

Read more

The Loonie and Oil Exports

Like other disciplines, economics tends to organize material into narratives. It is worth scrutinizing the “stylized facts” that underlie these narratives, as page B15 of Saturday’s Globe endeavoured to do. One piece of conventional wisdom is that the Canadian dollar’s value is driven by the skyrocketing price of oil. David Wolf argued, and Heather Scoffield reported, that the loonie is probably […]

Read more

Informetrica on Manufacturing

The United Steelworkers have put out the following press release: Research confirms value of manufacturing to Canada’s economy TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW/ – An interim report on manufacturing prepared by Ottawa-based econometrics firm Informetrica shows that manufacturing plays an important role in supporting all sectors of the economy, and has been hurt by both the recent appreciation of the dollar […]

Read more

The Conference Board’s Saskatchewan Survey

Asking business whether to get rid of government regulations is much like asking a barber whether to get a haircut. Nevertheless, the Conference Board’s main (and only) evidence in projecting TILMA’s benefits for BC and Saskatchewan were surveys of business organizations and government departments. In our paper, Marc and I noted some serious problems with the BC survey as well […]

Read more

Saskatchewan’s Trade Deficits with Alberta and BC

As noted in December using 2002 figures, Saskatchewan imports more from its prospective TILMA partners than it exports to them. The 2003 figures are now available: Saskatchewan’s trade deficit with Alberta was $2.1 billion and its trade deficit with BC was $0.4 billion. Since there are currently no significant barriers to inter-provincial trade, signing TILMA would not significantly increase inter-provincial trade […]

Read more

Saskatchewan and TILMA

Today, the Government of Saskatchewan initiated a process of legislative consultations on TILMA and released the Conference Board’s assessment of this agreement’s potential impact on Saskatchewan. This document is the sequel to the Conference Board’s BC assessment, which Marc and I critiqued on this blog and in our paper. I have not yet read through the 55-page document, but will […]

Read more

Stiglitz on European model

Joseph Stiglitz compares Europe and America in his latest column. Message to Canada: like the EU we should not be lulled by conservatives’ obsession with GDP per capita differentials. Europe’s success points the way to better world IN some quarters, pessimism dominated the recent celebrations marking the European Union’s 50th birthday. Unease about the EU’s future is, of course, understandable, […]

Read more
1 2 3